The 3 Rs of August: Relax, Rejoice, and Ready for School

Posted by Big Universe on Aug 21, 2012 6:30:32 AM

Open ClipArt dot orgRats! It seems like we were just waving the flag for the Fourth of July and POOF! We are now well into August. Ready or not, we're barreling into the next season: back to school.

Those ads for new clothes and school supplies, backpacks, and lunchboxes also visible reminders that maybe our kids didn't read as much as they're "supposed to." Summer slide is real. Rats!

The good news is that you can turn around the summer slide AND start preparing them for the routine that's just around the corner.

Last month, the children's book world lost Donald Sobol. You may not remember his name, but I'll bet you know his hero: Leroy "Encyclopedia" Brown. Encyclopedia Brown has been inspiring readers since 1963. He is as popular with girls as boys and these crack-the-case books are perfect not only for summer reading, but in that initial transition when we're trying to get kids back into a reading groove when school starts. We call them the 3 S's of Summer.

  • The story is short, with an illustration. The image helps readers create a tangible, visual scene from the words they’ve been reading.
  • Lots of dialogue makes it to easy to share the reading aloud and mystery solving!
  • Series books make it easy to add new titles and keep kids wanting more from their favorite characters.

It is easy to chop the book into smaller reading sessions (i.e., 1 story, 2 stories). The illustrations break up the pages and make it "go faster," too. Last but not least, each mystery is independent. You don’t have to know the characters or previous events to enjoy the story. Put those things together and you have a book hook for even the most dormant reader.

Encyclopedia Brown is just one character that neatly fits into the 3 S's of Summer Reading model. There are plenty more listed on the Family Bookshelf Blog in the story Encyclopedia Brown Inspires Readers - No Mystery There.

The good news is there is still time to keep summer going and start adding in a little more reading time over the next few weeks. Lazy afternoons with a book, the kids, and cold beverage ... the perfect antidote to the Dog Days of Summer.

No more Rats, just Sweet!

Terry Doherty is a Stay-at-Home Mom, reading mentor, and a family literacy advocate. She is the founder and Executive Director of The Reading Tub(r), and is the force behind Share a Story - Shape a Future, an annual blog tour for literacy. You'll find reviews by families for families on The Reading Tub website; and her ideas for reading on Family Bookshelf, her blog.

Topics: Reading Lists, Literacy

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